Aerial Stigmergy V1.0
Aerial Stigmergy V1.0
Over last period of time robots have become more capable of matching and exceeding human capabilities even though at the inception of the age of robotics, some employments still seem beyond their reach. Nevertheless, robots are no longer merely passive onlookers capturing information about an environment, but they are engaging with it in a meaningful way through manipulation, construction and interaction. Against this backdrop Aerial Robotics became a common applied research tool for many different fields; in construction UAVs are usually deployed for carrying out inspection, surveying and mapping tasks in complex or dangerous environments, barely accessible to humans and heavy machinery. But beyond the simple gathering of data these robots are capable of actively contributing to building processes instructed by generative design algorithms that translate digital data into flight paths and behaviors.
This research focuses the attention towards the application of drone technology to collect data for the design process, creating new lines of knowledge that culminate in the development of new design methodology and hence the emergence of new paradigm leading towards generative design.
Aerial Stigmergy is a workshop organized by Noumena and Design Morphine. One week of learning experience designed as an immersive journey in aerial robotics, open innovation, computational design, digital fabrication and collaborative culture. The toolset of Aerial Stigmergy includes but is not limited to Rhinoceros, Grasshopper, Processing as well as analysis software. It is intended for students of Architecture and Urbanism as well as professional architects, designers and artists interested in contemporary digital design techniques.
Aerial Stigmergy aims to investigate a non-conventional construction system informed by environmental data collected by aerial robots and to explore generative design methodology based on data driven strategies. The workshop will perform as a team-based program and will be divided in different phases through which participants will build up several skills and develop their own design strategies.
Flight Control and Mapping Environment
The first phase of the workshop is about gaining an understanding of software and hardware for flying and measuring environmental data. Participants will learn diverse strategies to fly the drone autonomously in an optimized way, to map terrain via near-infrared filtered camera and to sense the environment through Smart Citizen board, able to collect data about temperature, humidity, noise and CO2.
Visualizing and Interpreting Data
Participants will then embrace computational techniques in order to organize and visualize data gained during the first stage, by generating environmental 3-dimensional cartographies. The elaboration of these maps and database as resourceful informative documents will give an idea for further speculations on the potentials of generative design proposals.
Generative Design Strategies
In response to collected data values and three-dimensional cartography of mapped area, a series of agent-based generative strategies will be proposed. Working with constant feedback, architecture is no longer designed and then built, instead it adapts over time to the informed data. In this stage participants will explore bottom up methodologies for time-based design in response to environmental data; inspired by nature, students will design with behavioral rules for flocking, stigmergy and 3D formations. This will generate a catalogue of simulations of four-dimensional objects that will be evaluated based on specific design brief and criteria explored by each team.
  • Drone flight control using Mission Planner
  • Collecting Data with drone and visualizing data using NOUMENA library Add-on for Grasshopper
  • Understanding of nature-inspired design and adaptive architectural systems
  • Understanding of evolutionary computational principles
  • Introduction to Generative Design and Agent Based Modelling in Processing.
  • Introduction to Rhinoceros and Grasshopper
  • Introduction to Mesh Modelling in Grasshopper from points with Coccoon and smoothness with Weaverbird
  • Visualization and rendering techniques with KeyShot
Each Participant should provide their own computer with the following software installed. If you do not have a software, trial versions can be found on each software company’s website. We will send participants links to the required software, trials, and plug-ins for download. Please have the software installed prior to workshop start. If you have issues installing software, we may be able to help you during the workshop.
  • Rhino 3D
  • Grasshopper  (Plugins: Weaverbird, Cocoon, Noumena NDVI Library)
  • Processing
  • Mission Planner (GEO tagging Images)
  • Pix4D Software/Drone deploy
  • KeyShot­­
  • Adobe Suite
Aerial Stigmergy V1.0 will expand from 27 April – 02 May, 2017.
Daily meetings will take place from 9:30 to 18:00 at NODO – Carrer de Almogavers 141 Barcelona, Spain
There will be a final presentation of your groups work containing renderings and diagrams on 02 May, 2017.
All projects will be published on DesignMorphine’s web page.
All participants who complete the workshop will receive a certificate of completion.
For attending the workshop and intensive courses there is no previous software experience required.
Participants need to bring their own laptops or workstations.
Please note that places are very limited on a first pay first serve basis!



Aerial Stigmergy V1.0
Aldo Sollazzo
Founder @ Noumena
Founder @ Fab Lab Frosinone
Director @ Reshape
Head of IAAC Visiting Programs
Master in Advanced Architecture @ IAAC
Aldo is an architect and researcher. Master in Architectonic Design in 2007, Master in Advanced Architecture at IAAC [Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalunya] in 2012, Fab Academy diploma in 2014 in the Fab Lab Barcelona, Aldo is an expert in computational design and digital fabrication. Since 2011, he is the manager of Noumena. He is also founder of Fab Lab Frosinone and Director of Reshape – digital craft community.
Aerial Stigmergy V1.0
Eugenio Bettucchi
Partner @ Noumena

Eugenio is a student of Building Engineering and Architecture at Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Italy. In the meanwhile, he is a partner of Noumena. His interests and skills lies on computational design, digital fabrication and the way of which these systems interact. During his studies, he assisted several workshop about the aforementioned topics. Actually he is developing his thesis focusing on robotic material deposition based on real-time feedback between digital simulation and physical environment.

Aerial Stigmergy V1.0
Martina Rosati 
Member @ DesignMorphine
Architectural Assistant @ Zaha Hadid Architects
MArch AA Design Research Lab
Martina Rosati is an ARB Registered architect in the UK, currently working as Architectural Assistant at Zaha Hadid Architects and Teaching Assistant for the course of Interior Design Lab at the University of Florence. She has professional experiences in Italy, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom, where she worked for Dewan Architects and Engineers (Dubai), as Research Architect at Balmond Studio (London), and as student assistant at the Architectural Association Digital Prototyping Lab (London). Martina completed her Postgraduate Master in Architecture and Urbanism (AADRL) at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in 2016, with a research on aerial robotics for design and construction; she graduated with Distinction in Architecture at the University of Florence in 2013.
Aerial Stigmergy V1.0
Alejandro García Gadea 
Member @ DesignMorphine
ARB Part III Registered Architect in United Kingdom
MArch AA Design Research Lab
Alejandro García Gadea is a UK qualified Architect currently employed as an ARB Registered Part III Architect at Grimshaw Architects (London) and collaborating as an expert in computational design and digital fabrication on several computational workshops at AA Visiting Schools and Design Morphine.  He has also worked for various architectural offices in London and Spain; as well as for fabrications labs including AA Digital Prototyping Lab (London). Alejandro completed his Post-Professional Masters in Architecture and Urbanism (AADRL), with his research focused on bottom-up building strategies involving aerial robotics for 3d printing. He studied Architecture at the University of Alicante (Spain) with exchanges at the Technishe Universität Berlin (Germany) and a second year at California State University Long Beach (United States).

NODO - Carrer de Almogavers 141 Barcelona, Spain